Want to see more efficient spending of public money? Move to the city.

The Urban Observer

It probably no surprise that I’m a huge proponent of city living. I love being able to hop on my bike, the bus, or walk down the street to one of my favorite neighborhood pubs or cafés. There’s a real sense of freedom that comes when not having a car-centric lifestyle. Each and every time I hop on my bike (rain or shine) I fall in love with my city again.

But let’s talk about a different aspect of the suburban vs. urban decision. Let’s talk about money. According to the Canadian organization, Sustainable Prosperity, in a recent report, a city’s public cost for each suburban home is more than double that of each urban home. (See graphic below). That’s public money… our taxes going disproportionately to suburban living, because a sprawling public plan costs more: for policing, transportation, park planning, emergency services and the likes. Sustainable Prosperity has…

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Paris COP21: Tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we act…

The Urban Observer

This December, I joined almost 40 members of the IISD Reporting Servicesteam in Paris, to cover the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) and other ongoing events at the COP. My team covered the Rio Conventions Pavilion – linking the 3 UN conventions on biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management. Of course most attention (and rightfully so) centered on the +2 weeklong negotiations, resulting in the historic and universally adopted Paris Agreementby nearly 200 parties.

COP21 celebration Laurence Tubiana, COP21/CMP11 Presidency; UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon;  COP21/CMP11 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France; and President François Hollande, France, celebrate the adoption of the Paris Agreement (Photo: IISD RS/ENB Kiara Worth)

Each day we arrived at 10:00, often leaving around midnight, after publishing daily reports. To say that it was an exhausting, exhilarating, jam-packed 2 weeks is an understatement. I’m…

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